Over the last 30 years, Art Fund has generously contributed £50,000 to help purchase many important acquisitions for the Wiltshire Museum. The exhibition celebrates this support by displaying an eclectic mix of art and artefacts such as depictions of Wiltshire landmarks and landscapes, a Roman coin hoard, a collection of medieval floor tiles and a set of 19th century Druid medals. This is the first time that these items have been on show together.
The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Dr Paul Robinson, who was Curator of the Wiltshire Museum for more than 20 years. Paul devoted much of his career to acquiring nationally important items to add to the collections and therefore raise its profile both archaeologically and artistically.
Highlights from the exhibition include lithographs from the Stonehenge Suite by Henry Moore; works by David Inshaw; a pencil drawing by Robin Tanner and a watercolour by Anthony Vandyke Copley-Fielding. The show will include the oldest depiction of Stonehenge in the Museum’s collection, Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, a watercolour from 1784 by Joshua Gosselin. Pictures of Stonehenge are complemented by images of other local Wiltshire landmarks including Old Wardour Castle, Silbury Hill, West Yatton, Devil’s Den, Stourhead gardens and Bradenstoke Abbey. A stained glass window designed by John Piper for Wiltshire Museum and its cartoon will be on display.
For the first time visitors will have the opportunity to see Apollo Pythion, by Jo Tillson, who was one of the leading figures associated with the British Pop Art movement, which was gifted to the Museum by Art Fund in 2002.
Art Fund has enabled the Museum to acquire other items too. These include: the famous Stanchester Hoard of gold and silver Roman coins, discovered in 2000 by a 14 year old schoolboy from Marlborough, together with the newly reconstructed pot in which the hoard was found; the medieval the Box Hoard; a selection of medieval floor tiles from Bradenstoke Priory – many of the tile designs are unique to the Priory; and a bronze figure of Christ from a crucifix which probably adorned the altar of the parish church of St. Mary’s in Purton. This eclectic mix of items is complemented by a collection of 19th century Druid medals from the Ancient Order of Druids, Grand Lodge of Druids and Venerable Order of Druids.
Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund said: “We are proud that our support of Wiltshire Museum over the last thirty years is being celebrated in this exhibition. The works of art and artefacts help to animate the historical narrative of Wiltshire and are a testament to Paul Robinson’s dedicated efforts.”
Lisa Brown, Curator, at Wiltshire Museum, said “This exhibition, in memory of Dr Paul Robinson, is a tribute to a wonderful Curator who was passionate about the County and through working closely with Art Fund was able to purchase many treasures for the Museum, enabling us to continue to tell Wiltshire’s story.”
Many of the acquisitions on display have been acquired with support from Art Fund, the Primrose Trust and the V&A Purchase Fund.
Normal Museum admission prices apply. Free entry with National Art Pass
There will be a Private View on the evening of 11 May. If you have received an invitation, please give your RSVP by clicking on this link.
We look forward to welcoming you to the launch.
A selection of items in the exhibition and photographs of Dr Paul Robinson. Click on the images to find out more